Covid-19: in Vendée, the race against the vaccine clock



Despite the bitter cold, the comings and goings are incessant in front of the anti-Covid center installed for two days in a municipal hall in Pouzauges, in the east of the Vendée. In this rural commune of 5,700 inhabitants, the medical density is low, the virus is circulating and vaccination coverage could improve. This makes it an ideal place for the Stop Covid Tour, which sets up ephemeral information, screening and vaccination centers in the most vulnerable areas of the territory.

We’re really in a race against time, explains Étienne Le Maigat, regional director of the regional health agency (ARS) in Vendée, which is piloting this project with the municipalities and the Red Cross. The virus is circulating very intensely, and our resuscitation capacities are dwindling. “ In one week, the La Roche-sur-Yon hospital center went from 20 to 32 intensive care beds “And we will not be able to multiply them because the necessary teams will be lacking”.

In this department which is generally a good student in terms of vaccination (86% of first injections in those over 12 years old against 81% at the regional level), the objective is twofold: to target those over 65 who have not yet had their 3e dose and convince those who still have not taken the leap of vaccination. This is clearly the most difficult task: out of 2,425 injections carried out since October 20, 2,043 relate to booster doses and only 192 to first-time injections.

“Working in lace”

“We are getting into the hard, recognizes Alexis Minard, head of the Covid cell in Vendée, who notes that the pockets of resistance are more in the interior than on the coast. In certain “traditional” families, it is very anchored. If the head of the family says no, everyone follows. But we can still get there by working in lace, by explaining and re-explaining. “

A mission devolved to the mediators of The Red Cross deployed in these centers. ” We are here to provide real information about what is circulating on social networks, confirms Nicolas Gautier, nurse in the association and coordinator of the operation. Some people think that they will be geolocated while making the vaccine or that the screening stick will go to their brain… ”

Pursue his passion

Thursday, December 16, 530 injections were performed in Pouzauges, mainly for booster doses. Valentin, a 31-year-old plasterer, was one of the few to show up for the first time. “Until now, I wanted to wait for it to stop, he confides. But I can see that we’re all going to have to go through it … “ The presence of a vaccination center near his home made his decision easier. “The real reason is that I am passionate about the Vendée palet, he finally admits. To continue playing, I need a health pass …

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Chantal, 63, also came for her first dose. “A health concern prevented me from doing it earlier, she assures. At the beginning, I understood those who hesitated, because we did not have much perspective. But now, it becomes complicated not to do it. And then I come to an age where it’s important. “ After his injection, Valentin displays a relaxed expression. “When I left, I said with a laugh to my partner, who does not want to be vaccinated, that I did not know if I would come back.… ”His return to great shape will perhaps convince her?

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